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what's the "best" model 3 to get right now - what should I do with my post write off insurance check?

How much time do you spend on the road that you really need free supercharging that makes buying a 5-year-old, first 5-10% produced model worth it? Tesla has learned a lot about making cars since those days.

I drive over 2k per month and about 45% of my charging is on Superchargers due to regular road trips, costing me about $140/mo versus a free package. Yes, driving like this for 5+ years with free supercharging would indeed save around 8k.

Or just be happy Tesla was thankful enough to give you an Early Adopter perk, and pay it forward by buying a newer vehicle from them ;) .
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
This is funny - I feel the total opposite 😀

When my year of free premium connectivity expired, I didn't even notice.

Okay, that's not true - I *did* notice... but I didn't use or value any of the premium features enough at all to pay for them.

  • Prefer vector tiles to satellite imagery
  • Used streaming music, but Bluetooth is just as good
  • Browser... meh
  • Traffic markings, don't even look at them
  • Netflix/Hulu... nah

A fantastic reminder that we all use our cars in different ways!

For me, it’s invaluable. For you, not at all. This is why I think making it a choice - instead of built into the cost of the vehicle - is a good idea. If you don’t want it, you don’t need to pay for it.

(In the past I would’ve agreed with you on the entertainment, but I’m finding myself waiting at sports practices and such more than ever these days …. So I’ve started using that to entertain myself rather than driving back home to do the same thing. :)
 
Note that my model 3P is Dec 2018, and does NOT have free premium connectivity, so the only way you would get that would be to buy a 2018 model 3 that was made and delivered before the end of the third quarter of 2018.

I would definitely buy new if it were me, since you dont care about the acceleration, you should be looking at a LFP RWD model 3, at least in my opinion. The stuff you would be "losing" is not that big a deal, and you still are not saving a ton of money used over new, at least not yet.
The free premium connectivity was based on when the car was ordered, not when it was delivered. It had to be ordered before June 30th, 2018. I ordered mine on June 28th, but didn't take delivery until November 2018, and I have free premium connectivity.
 
This is funny - I feel the total opposite 😀

When my year of free premium connectivity expired, I didn't even notice.

Okay, that's not true - I *did* notice... but I didn't use or value any of the premium features enough at all to pay for them.

  • Prefer vector tiles to satellite imagery
  • Used streaming music, but Bluetooth is just as good
  • Browser... meh
  • Traffic markings, don't even look at them
  • Netflix/Hulu... nah

Since you are in the US this is fine, connect the car to your phones hotspot and you don't lose anything.

Those of us in Canada with its super high data costs for cell service makes premium connectivity a really good deal unless you hardly do any streaming at all.
 
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So in another thread I detailed my experience of crashing my Tesla (2018 RWD LR), first accident of any kind in 30 years so I guess my time had come. Now I have $37k in hand and want another model3.
My 2018 had 81,000 miles and most importantly free super charging for life. I spent about $900 on electricity for those 81,000 miles!
I will never get that again but I am thinking that maybe it's better to go second hand for an older model as they have taken away a bunch of the older perks.
I don't care too much about dual motor, acceleration was fine in RWD, I do want the 300 mile range I had (It was about 290 after 5 years). I also want EAP but not FSD and premium audio.
Is there a specific year that's the sweet spot perhaps. A year that includes the lifetime premium connectivity, the EAP, fixes some of the early teething issues etc.?
I am thinking a model with the heatpump heater might be better than the 2018 like mine and the newer v3 computer.
I am also thinking a car that still has some warranty left would be prudent at this stage. For a car without warranty, anything to check? Some of those ball joints maybe ?
Are the changes made to the latest model3 really that great that losing things like free internet etc. are worth it?

Any thoughts on where to buy a car? I mean they are reliable for the most part, so even craigslist may be fine I am thinking. Carvana? Tesla used seems a bit of a ripoff/lottery at least.
Hard to tell. Who knows what's going to be in/missing from car. Wait until at least January.
 
So much easier than all of that … just look at “Cabin Heater:” line in the Software - Additional Vehicle Info menu.
Experience, thank you for taking the time to detail that!

On the topic of heat pumps, of the ones that were failing, was there any time period of manufacturing those were more likely to fail?
And was the actual reason they were failing, manufacturing and/or operational parameters ever disclosed?
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Experience, thank you for taking the time to detail that!

On the topic of heat pumps, of the ones that were failing, was there any time period of manufacturing those were more likely to fail?
And was the actual reason they were failing, manufacturing and/or operational parameters ever disclosed?

I’m not sure, but I’d guess if it were going to fail, it would’ve done so by now.
 
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tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,419
2,116
USA
@angelman The heat pump is fantastic in my relatively mild climate. Worth getting for you in LA I think. It's far more efficient and more effective than the resistive heater in our S.

We've gotten a whole lot of value out of FUSC on our S over the years. When we got our 3 I learned Supercharger pricing is not cheap at least daytime, and I certainly wish it had FUSC. However @Lindenwood is right, you would be giving up a whole lot of build improvements going with an early model Tesla, many you can see or feel, and even more that are "under the hood" so to speak. We also own a very early S. Believe me it takes time for Tesla to figure each new model. I don't think early 3's old enough for FUSC are worth what they're selling for these days. (Though, leather instead of vinyl would be nice.) Maybe after more market correction...
 
I think the 2022 models that have the Ryzen chip, right before the sensors were removed.
Ryzen infotainment CPU started in early calendar year 2022. Some early model year 2022 cars had the Atom infotainment CPU.

The type of infotainment CPU should be findable on an information screen on the touchscreen.

Removal of ultrasonic sensors for parking assistance was recent, so there were many months of production with Ryzen infotainment CPU and ultrasonic sensors.
 
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Short answer is that new cars are the best value by far. Used prices have plummeted this month but are still absurdly overinflated.

Long answer is: 2021 models were a significant upgrade. Anything labeled 2021 or newer will have the heat pump, black trim, power trunk, ugly wheels, and a non-combative center console. 2nd quarter 2021 builds (March-May) were the most feature-rich Model 3's ever produced as they were the first to include laminated side windows and matrix headlights. While 3rd/4th quarter cars were the first to remove significant features like USB connectivity and passenger lumbar.

2022 models are also a significant upgrade. The Ryzen processor makes the entire infotainment system completely usable. Even Hulu, Youtube, Sentry, and the browser are usable. And the lithium 12V battery should greatly reduce the risk of becoming randomly stranded every 2-3 years. Radar was removed in 2022.

2023 models have "upgraded" bumpers with no unsightly ultrasonic sensors. These have the greatest number of removed features (Radar, Sonar, Homelink, USB, lumbar), the highest price ever, and are the best value.

Premium connectivity and/or free supercharging only amount to a few hundred dollars over a typical ownership period. It's not even a factor unless you're an uber driver.

P.S. the Model 3 never had the janky heat pump with Home Depot corner molding. That was only done on a handful of the very earliest 2020 Model Y's.
 
Short answer is that new cars are the best value by far. Used prices have plummeted this month but are still absurdly overinflated.

Long answer is: 2021 models were a significant upgrade. Anything labeled 2021 or newer will have the heat pump, black trim, power trunk, ugly wheels, and a non-combative center console. 2nd quarter 2021 builds (March-May) had the most features as they were the first to include laminated side windows and matrix headlights. While 3rd/4th quarter cars were the first to remove significant features like USB connectivity and passenger lumbar.

2022 models are also a significant upgrade. The Ryzen processor makes the entire infotainment system completely usable. Even Hulu, Youtube, Sentry, and the browser are usable. And the lithium 12V battery should greatly reduce the risk of becoming randomly stranded every 2-3 years. Radar was removed in 2022.
(Assuming US market.)

Radar was removed in cars build starting May 2021, so the later portion of 2021 model year production did not have radar.

Ryzen infotainment CPU started being put in cars in early model year 2022, but the earliest model year 2022 cars had Atom infotainment CPUs. An information screen shows what infotainment CPU is installed. A similar time frame also applies to the lithium 12V battery versus the older lead-acid 12V battery.

The big news in recent years was that in 2021, some later 2021 SR+ cars had LFP batteries (most 2021 had NCA batteries). All 2022+ RWD (formerly SR+) cars have LFP batteries, with slightly higher capacity than in 2021 (economy is slightly lower, but rated range is higher due to the increased capacity).

Starting in January 2021, Global headlights replaced Premium headlights, but some cars in 2022 got Premium headlights, probably due to supply issues. Most drivers will find both to be good, but some posters prefer one (usually Global) over the other. Both are rated "Good" by the IIHS; a previous type of headlight used before July 2018 was rated "Acceptable".
 
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tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,419
2,116
USA
Lots of good timeline info from @Gauss Guzzler. Just a few small corrections or clarifications inline...

Short answer is that new cars are the best value by far. Used prices have plummeted this month but are still absurdly overinflated.

Long answer is: 2021 models were a significant upgrade. Anything labeled 2021 or newer will have the heat pump, black trim, power trunk, ugly wheels, and a non-combative center console. 2nd quarter 2021 builds (March-May) were the most feature-rich Model 3's ever produced as they were the first to include laminated side windows and matrix headlights. While 3rd/4th quarter cars were the first to remove significant features like USB connectivity and passenger lumbar.
Minor correction: Around the beginning of November 2021 is when front USB data went away. Beginning of Nov 2021 is also when 2022 model year started. Probably not 100% exact correlation but the timing was very close, in general 2022 model year means no front USB data (charging only). Most or all October 2021 Model 3's should still have front USB data.

2022 models are also a significant upgrade. The Ryzen processor makes the entire infotainment system completely usable. Even Hulu, Youtube, Sentry, and the browser are usable. And the lithium 12V battery should greatly reduce the risk of becoming randomly stranded every 2-3 years. Radar was removed in 2022.
Clarification: Radar sensor was no longer installed as of mid-2021 (sometime in May or April IIRC). However for all AP3 (HW3) cars, which Tesla started building with years ago, radar software was removed in OTA update in 2022, so no HW3 car use it anymore (unless blocked from OTA track).

2023 models have "upgraded" bumpers with no unsightly ultrasonic sensors. These have the greatest number of removed features (Radar, Sonar, Homelink, USB, lumbar), the highest price ever, and are the best value.

Premium connectivity and/or free supercharging only amount to a few hundred dollars over a typical ownership period. It's not even a factor unless you're an uber driver.
I agree premium connectivity is cheap in comparison to the cost of the car.

We've gotten many thousands of USD of value from FUSC on our S over the years. Just depends where life takes you. FUSC is not essential, but it does have non-trivial value for some of us.

P.S. the Model 3 never had the janky heat pump with Home Depot corner molding. That was only done on a handful of the very earliest 2020 Model Y's.
 

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